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Release Day Spotlight: Second Chance in Paradise by Jennifer Peel

Second Chance in Paradise by Jennifer Peel

A first love that deserves a second chance.

Doctoral student Holland Reeves may have aced every class she’s ever taken, but when it comes to life outside her lab, she finds she has more meaningful relationships with test tubes and pipettes than she does with people. That all changes when a surprise wedding invitation arrives, forcing her to return to the small coastal town of Paradise and the Clairborne Resort, where she left her first dream of being Mrs. Clairborne to begin the dream of becoming Dr. Reeves. There she must face her past and, to her surprise, the only man she ever loved, Porter Clairborne, the prodigal son who has unexpectedly returned.

Together, Holland and Porter must decide if their love deserves a second chance, and if Paradise will finally live up to its name or forever remain a town of broken dreams.

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK

“Second Chance in Paradise proves once again why I keep Jennifer at the top of my must-read list. She never disappoints. This second chance love story is one you don’t want to miss!” – Kathy from I am a Reader

“This book should come with a WARNING: may cause an influx of endorphins, a lack of desire to do anything but read and a severe book hangover. Get ready for an emotion filled, chemistry charged story because Jennifer Peel has done it again!” – Aimee from Getting Your Read On

 

Excerpt

“Holland.”

“What?”

“Let me help you.”

I stared at the door for several seconds.

“You know I could always pop the lock.”

“You wouldn’t.”

“You know I would.”

I knew that about him. Wait. I didn’t know him. “I’ll let you help me, but put on some pants or something.”

“If it will make you feel better.” He laughed.

I stood next to the door and waited for a few seconds, trying to get that parasympathetic system to kick in. “Are you dressed?”

“As dressed as I’m getting.”

“What does that mean?”

“Open the door and find out.” He hadn’t changed at all.

I unlocked the door and slowly twisted the handle. Hydrogen, helium, lithium…

“Are you reciting the periodic table in your head?”

Out of all the things for him to remember.

“Maybe.”

He laughed. “Same old Holland.”

I wasn’t the same. I was completely different and not at all affected by his charming laugh or lean muscle mass. I pulled the door open a crack and peeked on the other side.

His teeth gleamed in the dim light. “No need to be shy around me.”

“I’m not shy. I look at naked bodies all the time.” Cadavers counted. Why did I say that? I leaned against the door, even more embarrassed.

His left eyebrow arched like I remembered. “Is that so?”

I tucked some hair behind my ear. “For scientific purposes.”

He pushed the door open all the way, still laughing, bare chested, and wearing a pair of jeans that did his body good. “Are you a scientist now, Holland?”

I turned around so as not to stare at that chest that was once a safe landing place for me. Wanting this to be over and done with. Trying desperately to think of gut flora or the fact that our bodies made pints of saliva every day. Anything that disgusted me. Anything to get Porter out of my mind. It wasn’t helping. My mind wasn’t my own. My brain reminded me instead of all the saliva I shared with Porter. No. No. No. He was a lying jerk and I didn’t care how amazing he looked, I was over him. Completely. One hundred percent, not remotely interested. Who cared when he used to kiss me he could make my brain release mass amounts of dopamine?

“You didn’t answer the question.” He brushed my hair to the side, causing my arrector pili muscles to contract over every square inch of my body.

I shook involuntarily. “I am. I have degrees in microbiology and chemistry.”

“I’m not surprised.” He gently tugged on the uncooperative zipper. “Where do you work?”

“For the lab at Winchester. I’m a doctoral student.”

“I’m proud . . . I mean, that’s great.”

“What about you? What are you doing now?” Like I didn’t know, but I needed something to try and get my mind off the fact that he was touching me.

“Marketing for a ski resort in Lake Tahoe.”

“It’s the second deepest lake in the United States,” I blurted out like an idiot.

“Of course you know that off the top of your head.” The smile in his voice was apparent.

“I can’t help it.”

“I like it. Always have.” He yanked again. “What did you do to this zipper?”

“I don’t know. It’s not even my dress.”

“You don’t have a lot of occasions to wear cocktail dresses in the lab?” It was just like him not to call attention to the fact that I didn’t own the dress. He never once made me feel like I was less because he had more.

“Not really, no.”

“That’s too bad,” he whispered close to my ear. “This dress suits you.”

For the love of amino acids, he needed to quit doing that. “Do you have some lubricant or something?” Anything to get this over with.

“That’s kind of a personal question, don’t you think?”

I stepped away from him. Forget embarrassment. I was way past that. “I think I’ll sleep in the dress.”

“Come on, that was funny. Laugh a little.”

“It was immature.”

“I’ll give you that. But it gave me an idea. Hold tight, I’ll be right back.” He slipped back into his room. Or was it his room? It looked more like a guest bedroom from what I could tell.

“How come you’re not in your old room?” I braved asking.

He looked up from the bag resting on the bench at the end of the four-poster bed with crumpled blankets. “It’s an art studio now.”

“Oh.”

He went back to digging through his bag for what I hoped wasn’t anything with the initials K or Y on it. “That’s what happens when you don’t come home for almost eight years.”

“That’s a long time.”

His head popped up; his eyes locked with mine. “Too long.”

I nodded without thinking. I didn’t care how long it had been.

He held up a tube of lip balm without taking his eyes off me. “Let’s get you out of that dress.”